Last night, Beth told you about a developing story involving members of an Alt-Left group gathering outside the private home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The goons demanded that Carlson "leave town," telling him, "you are not safe," and "we know where you sleep at night." As if to reinforce Carlson's worldview, they also chanted, "no borders, no walls -- no USA at all!" As it turns out, these Antifa-linked thugs showed up when their target wasn't even home; he was at Fox preparing that evening's show. But Carlson's wife was at the house, and she was terrified:
Fox News host Tucker Carlson was at his desk Wednesday evening, less than two hours before his 8 p.m. live show, when he suddenly started receiving multiple text messages. There was some sort of commotion happening outside his home in Northwest D.C. “I called my wife,” Carlson told The Washington Post in a phone interview. “She had been in the kitchen alone getting ready to go to dinner and she heard pounding on the front door and screaming. ... Someone started throwing himself against the front door and actually cracked the front door.” His wife, thinking it was a home invasion, locked herself in the pantry and called 911, Carlson said. The couple have four children, but none were home at the time. But it wasn’t a home invasion. It was a protest.
I'm not sure any of what is described above can be accurately characterized as a "protest" in the American political tradition. It was intimidation, pure and simple. It was a mob -- and yes, that word applies. It was described as such by the perpetrators, approximately 20 of whom arrived to instill fear through physical intimidation. "It wasn’t a protest. It was a threat,” Carlson told the Washington Post. "They weren’t protesting anything specific that I had said. They weren’t asking me to change anything. They weren’t protesting a policy or advocating for legislation. ... They were threatening me and my family and telling me to leave my own neighborhood in the city that I grew up in." They didn't just chant and issue menacing messages through a bullhorn. They damaged the front door to the family house, and more:
Carlson said the protesters had blocked off both ends of his street and carried signs that listed his home address. The group called Carlson a “racist scumbag" and demanded that he “leave town,” according to posts on Twitter. A woman was also overheard in one of the deleted videos saying she wanted to “bring a pipe bomb” to his house, he said...The host’s address, as well as the addresses of his brother and good friend Neil Patel, with whom he co-founded the conservative media site the Daily Caller, were shared in tweets from Smash Racism DC’s account. In a Facebook post that included video of the gathering, the group wrote, “Fascists are vulnerable. Confront them at their homes!” “Protecting ourselves and our communities means interfering with those who make a platform for hate,” the statement said. “So we will go to their homes and their workplaces, and find them in restaurants.”
"If there’s anything that signals deep moral objection to fascism, it’s kicking in a political enemy’s door to terrorize his family," Allahpundit snarks, ridiculing the idea that 'Antifa'-types see themselves as "anti-fascist." These agitators publicly shared his home address, as well as the home addresses of both his brother and a close friend and associate. They blocked off both ends of his street, too, quite possibly to make it more difficult for anyone at home to 'escape.' Police are now stationed on his street, which will receive "special attention" for as long as necessary. Carlson understandably says his family's safety and privacy have been compromised. They're shaken:
“How can you go out for dinner and leave the kids at home at this point?" he said. “If they’re talking about pipe bombs ... how do you live like that?” He added that he also doesn’t know what he’s going to do about checking the mail. In October, pipe bombs were mailed across the country to high-profile critics of President Trump. “I probably won’t open another package sent to our house from now on,” Carlson said. Carlson, a longtime D.C. resident, said he went to “great lengths” to keep his home address private because of his family, who were all “very upset” by the protesters. He added that he loves his home and neighborhood and does not want to move...Now, Carlson is worried about leaving his family alone at home.
Last night, I noted that Twitter often suspends or bans users for various forms of harassment. This type of organized menacing seemed far beyond the pale. Amid a cross-partisan outcry, the social media company took action:
Update: Twitter suspended the account of the Antifa-associated group, Smash Racism DC, sometime after midnight.— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) November 8, 2018
Earlier Wed. night, a mob had converged on the home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson, forcing his wife home alone at the time to hide in a pantry until police arrived. https://t.co/IcTGXwCHwv
I'm not sure how this type of conduct wouldn't merit a permanent ban, honestly. According to the Post, Facebook took down the videos, but did not suspend the group's page. Why not? And can anyone be charged for trespassing, property damage, or any other crimes that may have been committed during this creepy siege? Many on the Left and in the media have unequivocally condemned what happened, which is the obviously correct thing to do. Others have offered "it's bad, but" deflections, while still others have sought to justify or defend the Alt-Left's actions. For instance, here's one of Vox's founding bloggers weighing in:
Domestic terrorism as a strategy, explained pic.twitter.com/aENQe0YLRc— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) November 8, 2018
"Like it or not." The best he can muster is to question the soundness of the 'tactics,' stating explicitly that he does not and cannot empathize with Carlson's wife. Major elements of our politics are severely broken.
UPDATE - A joint statement from Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and the network's president, Jay Wallace (reminder/disclosure: I'm a Fox News contributor): "The incident that took place at Tucker’s home last night was reprehensible. The violent threats and intimidation tactics toward him and his family are completely unacceptable. We as a nation have become far too intolerant of different points of view. Recent events across our country clearly highlight the need for a more civil, respectful, and inclusive national conversation. Those of us in the media and in politics bear a special obligation to all Americans, to find common ground."